In the middle of Beethoven’s 250th birthday year, spare a thought for all those musicians who planned on celebrating with a 12-month-spanning journey through the nine symphonies. Not that the world necessarily needed new takes on the most recorded symphonic cycle of all time. Indeed, several cycles already marketed in late 2019 and 2020 have proved  underwhelming in their convention-laden approach. Not, however, Jordi Savall’s latest release, a COVID-curtailed set of the first five symphonies that bursts new-minted on the ear.

Album artwork with Beethoven

Better known for his work from the medieval to the late-Classical periods, early-Romantic suggests something of a new direction for Savall, but following on from his excellent survey of Mozart’s last three symphonies (AVSA9934, 2019) it...

Access our paywalled content and archive of magazines, regular news and features for the limited offer of $3 per month. Support independent journalism.

Subscribe now or log in to continue reading.